We’ve all heard that humans only use about 10% of the brain. So it takes a brilliant mind to imagine what 100% use of the brain’s capacity would look like, or even 20% for that matter. It takes an interesting mind to come up with an answer to humanity and the meaning of life. But it takes an artist to turn it into a film. Enter Lucy, enter Luc Besson.
I have to admit that I thought Lucy would be a typical action thriller full of clichés and predictability and granted there are a couple but it far exceeded expectation. Luc Besson’s vision is more than just action scenes it is something bigger, it always has been, take The Fifth Element for example. Lucy is unfortunately one of those films that will be underwatched because it doesn’t appear to offer anything new. It does just the opposite. It combines stock footage, montage editing and continuity to create a lesson in humanity and a lesson in film making. At times it even feels like a lesson. Morgan Freeman plays Professor Samuel Norman a neuro-scientist who has spent his lifetime studying the brain and how we use it. In cleverly sewn together scenes we are constantly reminded that we are only marginally different to animals. We prey on the weak, we communicate in different languages but ultimately we are driven by knowledge. With smart transitions and intellectual montage editing in the opening scene Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is compared to a gazelle being hunted by lions. Juxtaposed together these two shots serve as a metaphor of human existence and its relationship with the animal kingdom.
People have claimed, even the IMDB synopsis, that Lucy evolves into a merciless warrior fuelled by revenge intent on getting back at her captors. Did anyone even see this movie? She isn’t intent on getting back at her captors, she is intent on accumulating the remainder of the synthetic CPH-4 in order to survive and expand her knowledge. Rather it is her original captors led by Mr. Jang that are seeking her for revenge. Lucy is looking for answers. She discovers Norman’s research into brain capacity and using her new powers of technological manipulation seeks his help. Her journey turns into an opportunity to pass on knowledge rather than endulge in a predatorial killing spree.
People are moaning about the lack of action scenes in Lucy when they should really open their eyes and actually view Lucy for what it is rather than what they want it to be. This is so much more than a review, it is a rant at the idiocy of film critics and cinephiles who compare Lucy to Limitless. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed Limitless but Lucy is not Scarlett Johansson in a Bradley Cooper role. For starters Limitless is about a drug that has the potential to unlock 100% brain capacity. Lucy is about a synthetic form of CPH-4 that she accidently consumes. She doesn’t immediately unlock 100% and the film isn’t about self-aggrandisement. If people who claim they watch movies and analyse them for a living can’t do any better than foster a lame excuse of a review that ‘Lucy is like Limitless only worse’ deserve to be fired. Or that it is a “brazenly mindless thriller” *cough* ‘New York Daily News’ *cough* is utterly mindboggling. Lucy is anything but mindless, I literally can’t get my head around how stupid this person sounds right now. Mindless.
Lucy is strange and it won’t appeal to everyone I get that, it’s the same with every film. People hate The Matrix, Inception, even Home Alone so I’m not going to say you have to enjoy it. But to call it mindless is complete tripe. In an attempt to encourage philosophical engagement with the subject Lucy is disguised as an action thriller when there is clearly an underlying motive for Luc Besson’s latest heroine. Lucy serves as a powerful tool in encouraging self-exploration and testing ourselves in a society that has chosen to ignore humanity for the sake of technology. In one of the most powerful scenes of the film Lucy highlights the power of humanity to codify our own existence within a comprehensible scale precisely so that we forget its unfathomable scale. This is exactly what small minded film critics have done. They have brought Lucy down to a scale that suits their personal existence. It doesn’t agree with their film schooling and it certainly doesn’t agree with their opinion on what films should be. Luc Besson refuses to hold your hand and challenges his viewers to use their brains. Quite clearly some people didn’t get the message and sought instead to earn their living with a simple, that’ll do summary.
If you are yet to see Lucy or have some doubts then hopefully my Brilliant rating will encourage you to block out all the hate and give it a go. After all if a man that uses 10% of his brain capacity can come up with a sci-fi thriller that challenges the meaning of life, I dare to imagine that these ‘respected’ critics used 1% in the creation of their awe inspiring comments.
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